Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or an absolute beginner, your kayak is an investment that’ll serve you for years, so it’s important to store, protect, and maintain it properly. If we had it our way, kayaks would make it through each trip without a scratch, but we all know this isn’t the case. Even though modern-day kayaks are designed to take a beating, it’s still essential that we know the basics to keep them in good shape. This guide will talk you through some of the most common issues your kayak is likely to encounter as well as the best practices to combat them and keep your kayak in tip-top condition. Off-season maintenance requires little effort on your part but must be carried out on a regular basis, so let’s get to learning about what you can do!
Although kayaks are made to be use in the water and preferably in good weather conditions, when it comes the time to put it away, sunlight and moisture are your boat’s two worst enemies. Whatever material your kayak is made of, direct exposure to sunlight can lead to warping and dry rot, and leaving it wet can be similarly destructive. Wherever you choose to store your kayak (indoors is best), keep it out of direct sunlight, and keep it dry! How can you best protect your kayak from sunlight and moisture?
As a watercraft, your kayak’s natural habitat, so to speak, is where buoyant forces and water pressure support its hull. When stored on the ground or hanging in the air, your boat will be a bit out of its element. If not properly stored, it can be warped or otherwise rendered useless simply through gravity’s constant pull on its own weight. If you keep your hard-material kayak in the right position, this risk can be mitigated. This does not apply as much to inflatable kayaks, which should be fine as long as they are deflated and disassembled while in storage. How can you best protect your kayak from warping or denting?
Several important considerations exist here. If you store your kayak outdoors, you need to protect it against would-be thieves. If you keep your kayak indoors, you’ll want to make sure that it won’t be in the way of your feet or your head, and either way that you won’t hurt yourself putting it away for the winter and taking it out again in the springtime. How can you best protect your kayak from theft and from causing injuries?
If you know how to store a kayak in a cool, dark, and dry place, out of everybody’s way, and on its side, then you should have no problem keeping it in top condition. You’ll be able to use it without problems for many years, whether you run rivers or fish in the ocean or just want to cross a pond. Storing your kayak indoors can make your life significantly easier when it comes to maintenance and security but this isn’t always an option, and some of us have no choice but to store our kayak outside. Storing a kayak outside does present us with a new variety of problems, but as long as you keep it covered and securely fastened, you won’t have too many issues. As long as we regularly maintain our kayaks, we’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come with little to no issues. If you are ever unsure of the best maintenance practices, you can typically refer to its manual or visit your local store since the team at these places are likely to provide some great tips and hacks to speed up your maintenance.